Finding shapes in the clouds

I’m going to talk to you today about ultrasounds.

They are weird.  They are uncomfortable.  Sometimes, they are hilarious.

I’ve had roughly 20 ultrasounds over the years (about 19 of which were cancer-related, and one was to check for a blood clot in my leg after it swelled to the size of one of those GMO turkey legs at the state faire).  Each experience was like the first time you let a monkey kiss you on the mouth – a little bit different and a whole lot weird.

I’ve had two kinds of ultrasounds – the kind where my abdomen is made into a slip-n-slide for hairless mice, and the kind where my vag is made into a fleshy joystick that feels like the total opposite of joy.

Recently, I had what may turn out to be my last cancer-related ultrasound…ever (which is both exciting and scary).

First, the nurselady led me from the waiting room into a more private one-person waiting room and told me not to get undressed.  Under no circumstances was I to remove clothing.  I sensed that at some point she must have experienced an embarrassing misunderstanding with a newbie patient.  Don’t worry, lady, this is old hat.

I picked up a very tattered Ladies Home Journal and tried to calm my nerves.  Even though I totally know the drill by now, I always get white coat syndrome on account of the dreaded c-word.  Oh yeah, that, and my bladder was so fucking full that I could taste the pee in the back of my throat.  Long ago I learned that if I actually drink the 304,786 oz of water they tell me to drink before my appointment, I end up having to swerve off the freeway halfway there and run into a gas station bathroom before urine drips down my legs and soaks my socks.  All I have to do is drink the milk from my morning cereal and rinse my mouth out after brushing my teeth, and my percolator fills up that peesack like clockwork, no worries.

So I get called into the actual exam room where the undressing action happens.  Usually, I get a student tech and ve’s supervisor asking if it’s ok if a student pokes around in my nethers.  I support the sciences, so I usually shrug and tell them they can enter at their own risk.  This time, however, I guess I got a real tech because she was all I got.  Either that, or she was a student tech gone rogue.  I decided to take my chances.

Next step is that I undress from the waist down for that first kind of ultrasound (bring out the hairless mice!).  A tip to all you first-timers out there: make sure the towel they give you is fully tucked into your underwear unless you want to walk around all day with goo-covered chonies.  That tech ain’t watching where they are putting that paddle, and that goo gets frickin everywhere.  And it’s not even the good kind of goo you want up in there, anyway, so tuck it.

First good sign: this tech warmed up the goo!  She’s a pro, this one.  I lie back and enjoy the warm, sticky sensation as I watch the white snow on the monitor and wait patiently for Samara to emerge.

"help...I've been stuck in there for 7 daysss....and 9 months."

“help…I’ve been stuck in there for 7 daysss….and 9 months.”

This whole process, if you sit and think about it for a quick sec, is pretty magical.  A stranger wields a wand, adds some primordial goo, and – Expecto Patronum! – they can see inside your body, your innermost secrets.  They can see the absence of a second ovary (if I get a particularly naive tech, or a tech who obviously hasn’t read my chart, sometimes I’ll fuck with ’em:  What?!  You can’t find my left ovary?!!  WELL YOU HAD BETTER FIND IT!), they can see my scar tissue, and they can also see that my bladder is rapidly filling up and about to burst like Liz Lemon after sandwich day.  Talk about embarrassing.

I usually try to position myself so I can see the screen.  I’ve seen my ladyparts onscreen so many times that I fancy myself a real radiology tech – and by “real,” I mean that I point at blobs on the screen and ask, “Ooh, is that a spidermonkey?!”

A good tech will narrate the procedure for me: “…aaaand here we have your uterus, lookin’ good….and then we slide over here….and there’s your cute little ovary!”  A bad tech doesn’t say anything and just makes weird facial features at the screen as she pauses and measures the blobs.

This tech was a bad one (the warmed-up goo was just a ruse)….and she was freaking me the fuck out.  At one point her eyebrows raised and then lowered and furrowed.  I couldn’t stay silent. “What!? What did you see?”

She looked at me with a smile.

“Well, I found your ovary!”

Good news…

“…and it looks like an otter!”

It looks like a what now?!

“Oh, you know, it’s like finding shapes in the clouds with this thing, here look…”

And she points.

Funny enough, I could actually see it, right there, flippers and all.  Weird.

I’d rather my ovary look like this! From projectconnecta-gain.blogspot.com

We had a little moment, Madam Ovary and I.  I waved.

I never really know what to expect at these appointments…

Hello, Gorgeous!

My photographer said that the 40s could be summed up with an “Oh, my!” and a skirt twirl.

…we’ll see if that comes through in the photos.

*I am wolf-whistling at myself as I look at this*
Thems victory post-war birthing hips.

Thems victory post-war birthing hips.

Basically, I was born in the wrong decade.  My hips belong in the 40s and 50s and my feminist brain belongs in the 60s and 70s.  And I think I lost my ovary in the Great War.

Anyone call for…..a pilot?!

This is like the best picture ever.  Brian’s inner child was squealing with joy like a greased pig who just outran Christmas dinner.  That, and he looks damn sexy.  Coolest part: there was no wind while this pic was taken.  Whaaaat.

I look forward to the professional images, because if we look this amazing on my iphone, we’re going to look like frickin old movie stars and shit.

Best part for me: I think I ended up looking a lot like my grandma.  Must unearth a picture of her for comparison.

Don’t forget, Psychos!  Send me emails to tell me how you’re gonna turn my online wedding to Shirtless Ryan Gosling into a drunken love circus!  I *just* found out he’s Canadian – what the what?!  I didn’t know they made beefcakes that beefy.   Deadline is March 31st.

Wedding Whimsy

Wedding planning is coming along, and I am starting to get really freaking excited.
Brian and I have found the perfect venue (bird’s eye view in this post) that matches the vibe and feel of what I described – and it’s also full of whimsy (to be explained).

The venue is a working ranch and small winery with acres of vinyards, lavendar fields, and almond trees.  (This means we’ll get drunk, but still smell nice, and we’ll have a good source of protein nearby in case the zombie apocalypse breaks out during the festivities.  We really do plan for everything.)  The ceremony will take place on a grassy hilltop that has panoramic views of the surrounding golden brown hills (so we’ll see the zombies coming way before they’re within biting distance).  The reception will take place in a converted barn that has three levels of seating and is decorated with kitschy, cute antiques.  There is bocce ball (possible weapons), a pond (possible place of safety), and joy (zombies despise this).

This place is different, and by different, I mean whimsical.  On the garden walk from the parking lot to the barn, there are little scenes set up with knick-knacks and stuff.  One scene displays Dorothy’s ruby slippers and the witch’s rusted-over old bike.  There’s a display with a stove, dishes, and a rusty metal bloke named Julio dressed in an apron and chef’s hat.

This is why I don’t cook.

The bathrooms across from the barn look like they were decorated by the people who work in those restaurants where you have to wear flair on your vest in order to fit in.  Hats, gloves, feathers, and an old-timey chair reupholstered in lime green kept me company while I emptied my bladder.  I look forward to emptying my bladder in that same room with my best friends holding up yards of white fabric beside me!  Squee!

Once we found a venue, Brian and I got ourselves a wedding planner, and omigod, if you can fit this into your budget, I highly, highly recommend it.  In fact, a good wedding planner will pay for him/herself in both time and money.  I hate doing research, but I come from a thrifty family where we hate paying more for things than we should – so this is where a good, skilled wedding planner comes into play.

Our wedding planner Stephanie gives us lists of vendors to look through, and she can recommend them in groups of different price ranges.  She’s worked with these vendors before, so she knows the quality of their services, and she’s quite honest about what we’ll get for our money.  She’s open to working with vendors that Brian and I have found who aren’t on her lists.  She schedules meetings with vendors we like and attends these meetings with us.  She also helps us through the contracts to make sure we know what we’re getting into – huzzah!

Basically, she’s a godsend.  Brian and I don’t know what the hell we’re doing, and we’re also super shy around new people, and we’re really good at being awkward.  If we met vendors by ourselves, we’d probably end up hiding under the table and only coming up to shout things like I LIKE FLOWERS! and PLEASE MAKE ME PRETTY! before ducking back down.  Stephanie is cool because she asks all the questions we forget to ask like, “Do you accept M&Ms as payment for your services?  My clients have agreed to pick out all the brown ones if you’d like.”

Stephanie is like a cross between our therapist and our Jedi Master of weddings.  She is strong with the force.  But she’s prettier than Yoda.  And less hairy.

Plan a wedding for you I will.

So far, Brian and I have chosen a photographer and a DJ.  We have a meeting with a florist this week and I go shopping for a dress this weekend!!!

My ovary is doing flips just thinking about it.